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Saturday, February 22

Farmers prevented from reaching land near Bethlehem by the Israeli Settlers
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- 

Israeli settlers prevented 

Palestinian 

farmers from planting their 

lands east of Bethlehem on 

Friday morning. 

Farmer Hassan Asakra told Ma'an that a group of farmers 


headed to their lands, which are located near the Israeli 

settlement of Teqoa, accompanied by solidarity activists to 

plant olive trees, but settlers prevented them with the help 

of Israeli forces. 

The group was prevented despite having permits to access 


the land from the liaisons office, Asakra said. 

He added that settlers brought cypress saplings to plant on 


the land, suggesting an attempt to claim the area for 

themselves.

The incident is the second time this week that settlers have 


prevented Asakra from planting his lands, after a similar 

incident on Sunday.

Israeli settlers often harass Palestinian farmers who live 


near settlements and target local olive trees for destruction. 

As a result, solidarity delegations of foreigners frequently 

accompany local farmers to protect them from attack.

Threats and intimidation, however, often continue despite 


their presence.

In 2013, there were 399 incidents of settler violence against 


Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN 

Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Over 90 percent of investigations into settler violence by 


Israeli police do not lead to an indictment.
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